A long overdue day has finally arrived. The federal Bureau of Prisons is closing the Special Management Unit at Thomson penitentiary in Illinois. The unit is notorious for being one of the deadliest in the federal prison system, generating frequent reports of violence and abuse. The closure comes on the heels of reporting by NPR and The Marshall Project, which pointed out five suspected homicides and two suspected suicides had occurred in the unit since it opened in 2019. Learn more here.
The Martha Wright-Reed Just and Reasonable Communications Act of 2022 is on its way to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law. The passage of this act represents a significant victory for the incarcerated, their loved ones, and our society at large. The average cost of a 30-minute prison phone call is $5, placing a severe burden on the incarcerated and their loved ones. Maintaining regular contact behind bars has been shown to reduce recidivism, so reducing the costs of these calls is about far more than dollars and cents.
Read more here.
It is time to question the false choice between safety and criminal justice reform. Increased punishment is not the answer to every question, or the solution to every problem.
“This incident is now being exploited by some to promote a dangerous narrative that seeks to reverse years of positive criminal justice reform.” We couldn’t agree more.